Wednesday, 30 July 2014
The Notorious Cleopatra (3½ Stars)
This is a rather whimsical tale of Queen Cleopatra and her relationships with the two most powerful men in the Roman Empire, Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony. Egypt was a poor country at the time, and its only value was in its corn exports. Caesar wanted to control Egypt's food, Cleopatra wanted to control Rome. Arguably, Cleopatra would have succeeded, if Caesar had not been assassinated by his enemies before she took complete control of him. He was a powerful man who had fought wars and conquered many nations, but she was a beautiful woman, and he was powerless in her arms.
I have seen several actresses playing the role of Cleopatra. The most famous of them was Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film. Considering that Cleopatra was reputed to be the most beautiful woman who had ever lived, I'm surprised how plain the actresses are. I'm not criticising Elizabeth Taylor as an actress, but was she the most beautiful woman on Earth? Not even close. "The Notorious Cleopatra", made six years later in 1969, puts things right. Loray White, who used to be the wife of Sammy Davis Jr., is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. Her beauty, her charm and her overwhelming sex appeal would have enslaved me.